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Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins Believes County's Same-Sex Benefits Plan Legal

Bill Zeeble

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins believes the county's same-sex benefits plan approved last fall is legal, despite Monday's opinion from the Texas Attorney General that said local governments and school districts offering marriage benefits to same sex partners violate the state constitution. 

Judge Jenkins said "It’s my personal opinion that it’s not violative of the Texas constitution. But again we’ve got to look that over in light of the Attorney General's opinion. The Attorney General’s opinion is not a binding document, it’s an opinion."

Jenkins and a majority of County Commissioners approved benefits to same sex partners in October. Two Republicans rejected it.  Commissioners worded the package to be legal under the federal Defense of Marriage Act. Jenkins says he’s consulting with county lawyers about the benefits plan in light of AG Greg Abbot’s opinion.

If they decide the county’s plan is legal, he won’t change it. 

Bill Zeeble has been a full-time reporter at KERA since 1992, covering everything from medicine to the Mavericks and education to environmental issues.